Well, Joey, to answer your question, I'm a little bit of a hot mess right now. You see, I had a crazy impulse last week and acted on it (life advice: usually not a good idea.) and now that impulsive decision becomes real tomorrow. Tomorrow morning at 10:45, to be exact, right in the middle of government class . . . not that I planned for that to happen or anything.
Anyway, to stop the vagueness here, the Red Cross is holding a blood drive at my school tomorrow. After not participating last year, I decided in the heat of the moment that I could just suck it up and donate.
The one who put her head down during nearly every biology class while learning about blood because she couldn't take it.
The one whose younger sister had to hold her hand while getting a little bit of blood drawn for a test because she wouldn't calm down.
The one who has opted to get her wisdom teeth taken out with a little help from laughing gas and some gum numbers rather than anesthesia because she didn't think she would be able to handle the IV.
The one who can barely write for five minutes after someone says the word 'vein' (ew.) because her hands get so weak.
Let's just say that anything remotely in the medical field is not my future profession, that's for sure.
I don't know what made me decide to put my name on the volunteer list, but it's there. And in pen, of course, so I can't even erase and pretend I had never written it. It's there, and it's staying.
Over the weekend, the thought of the blood drive occasionally popped into my head a few times, sending my stomach out onto a rollercoaster consisting of all of the fear and none of the fun. Now that it is barely 12 hours away, the rollercoaster is only getting taller and steeper and every seat is filled with screamers working their lungs.
I'm so tempted to back out, to avoid the discomfort and fear that donating blood may bring. However, I know that's not an option. There are tough decisions to make that become even harder to carry through with. But such is life.
God has continually blessed me with a healthy body. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy my life without any major illnesses, broken bones, or even a bee sting. Major medical treatment has never been something that I've had to deal with, and God willing, hopefully something that I never will have to encounter. Shouldn't I use this body then to give to those who are in need? Those that are more familiar with medical treatment than anyone would ever want to be? Thanks to the signs posted on nearly every.single.wall of my school (for real! I can't even fill up my water bottle without one staring me in the face), I learned that one pint of blood can save three lives. In other words, one little donation from me can give new life to three people. How could I pass up this opportunity in good conscience? What if I were the person in need of a life-saving donation, yet I was unable to receive one due to a shortage in blood?
In Romans, Paul hits this topic straight on the head.
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out.
- Romans 15:1-4 (MSG)
Instead of meeting my own needs, I can take a page out of Jesus's book and put others miles ahead of myself. My strength in good health is for service, that much is plain.
I asked God, "How can I help?"
He responded by giving me the impulse to put my John Hancock on the blood donor volunteer list. A place I swore my name would never show up.
So I'm taking a deep breath and saying a prayer to ask for the peace that only God can bring. I'm facing my fears of blood, and needles, and veins, and people with sterile gloves who are trying to poke my veins with needles to get my blood (that was a good plug for the Red Cross, wasn't it? Go donate!) and trusting that God will sustain me.
Going to a small Christian school definitely has its perks, one of which occurred last week. Walking into school, I noticed that every single locker had a Bible verse stuck in the top. Each one was hand decorated and I didn't see any repeating verses. No one knows who did this, all I know is that I'm very thankful that they did. The verse in my locker was one that I wasn't familiar with and I've been dwelling on since I received it:
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
- Psalm 16:8
I will not be shaken. Even when God calls me to do something that I determined to be impossible for me to do. I will not be shaken.